Being Responsible this Diwali

Diwali is Coming!!!

It is that time of the year again when hearty celebrations for us mean ample noise and air pollution around the city and mortal peril and fear for stray animals.  Every year, I end up feeling miserable during Diwali looking at the anxiety and despair of my canine babies that they suffer from during the entire week or 10 days around the D-Day. This year, however, the SC verdict of firecrackers burning schedule for Diwali, Christmas & New Year, (read here), has given me hope that there should be considerably less amount of noise and air pollution.

This also got me thinking what are the other things that I can do as an individual to do my bit to control pollution and distress.

Something that is making rounds this year on various whatsaap groups is Cow dung diya. Truth be told, I had no idea such diyas exist. When I heard about these, the first thing that came to my mind is the fact that they would be stinky as hell. However, a friend of mine cleared my confusion stating that they don’t stink. She knows as she uses Also, these diyas are a good idea because once the cow stops milking, the farmers cannot afford the upkeep of these old and pitiful creatures anymore and the cows are sent to slaughter-houses. By purchasing these cow dung diyas, we can help these poor cow owners from not selling the cow.  This beautiful concept is promoted this year by an organization called weCHANGE.

The next best thing to do is not buy crackers at all. However, if it is imperative that some fireworks must happen else Diwali will be incomplete, then Green crackers are the way to go.  These are supposedly made in Sivakasi (Indian product) with no or minimum barium salts which reduce the noise and the pollution. For details, (read here)

People make beautiful rangolis for Diwali; so instead of using artificial colors, rangolis can be made using natural colors (rice powders for white, turmeric or powdered pulses for yellow etc). The basic idea of creating rangolis during the ancient times was to feed the birds and insects, and artificial colors are not only useless but may cause harm by ingesting them or causing allergies.


Then there is the point where every year the environmentalists keep on asking us to use diyas and not the Chinese or rice lights to decorate abode and business places. Diyas help kill the insects that infest while the rice lights increase the electricity consumption.  Since diyas are made by people who are Indian and poor, it is always better to help them celebrate their Diwali too instead of handing over our hard-earned money to the faceless Chinese conglomerates.

This Diwali let us try and celebrate it in a good way so that noise and air pollution can be controlled. We must remember that this is the only planet we have, and if we screw it up beyond repair, it is our children who have to face the music and live in a post-apocalyptic-like world.


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